Sunday, January 23, 2011

Talking Things Through

It's difficult to know how much to "talk through" on such a public space as a blog. Especially when it concerns the body of Christ. I would never want to say or do anything that hurts the body of Christ. It's just that what I've been seeing lately bothers me a great deal.

There are believers who are content to continue in the traditional way of things; meaning that they are happy to keep on doing things because it's "always been done that way" or that's the way they were taught and so on. I can understand that mentality to a certain extent. I mean, honestly, it's just easier to do things that way or believe like that. Change requires work and inner reflection. Most of us, myself included, don't really like change. However, our relationship with Jesus Christ needs to be one that is constantly changing - for the better.

When we were born physically, we were small and defenseless. We had no other choice but to depend on the knowledge and skills of those in charge of our care. However, the older we got, we were expected to take on more and more responsibilities for our own care. It's the same thing with our spiritual lives. God doesn't want us to remain in infancy. We are to gradually take responsibility for our own personal growth and begin reaching out to others who are young in the faith and help nurture them into spiritual adulthood. This is a challenging thing to do when so many people who should be spiritual mentors, still require mentors themselves, and see no problem with that.

Doing things because they've "always been done that way" might be the easy thing to do, but is it the Biblical thing to do? If we're not even willing to look to Scripture for the answer to that, then our growth will be stunted.

I mentioned that spiritual change and growth requires work and inner reflection. Inner reflection, I think, is too threatening to most. Those of us who have received Christ as our Lord and Savior, although redeemed, are not completely sanctified at the moment of our spiritual birth. Sanctification is something we have to move toward. In Psalm 139:23, the psalmist says, "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts". We need to look inside our hearts and ask God to do the same. We need to be willing to recognize any sin that might be lingering there. If we're not willing to do that, our growth will be stunted.

There are other things going through my mind that I am not yet able to put into words. I will try, however, to talk through the mumbled mess in my head. The term "body" that Paul uses so often to describe believers in Christ continues to stand out to me.

There is something about pain in our physical bodies that we do not like, but it is a necessity. If we don't feel pain, we won't know there is potentially a problem. However, if we do feel pain but constantly take pain killers to numb the pain, we might be ignoring THE symptom that our body is trying to get us to notice that there IS a problem (I know I probably could have worded that better, but that is the best I have right now). I believe Paul said that if one member of the body is hurting, then the entire body will hurt. Well, I am a member of the body of Christ, and I'm hurting. I feel more like an artificial limb than an actual body part. That might not be the best description, because it's not that I don't feel like a legitimate member of Christ's body, I know without a doubt that I am. Like I said, I'm not quite able to put my thoughts into words right now. I'm still talking things through.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How much is enough?

LOTS on my mind these days. A few days ago I completed a Bible study called "Living Like You Belong to God", a Precept Ministries study. There were some hard things for me to swallow in this one. Overall it's a study on how we, as believers in Jesus Christ, are to be holy. The things I am trying to sort out are: 1) concerning the foods we eat, and 2) recognizing/respecting government authority. There was more to the study, but these two issues are the ones I don't feel I have completely or accurately embraced. I'm not even sure how to fully explain my thought process on these issues - I am that torn. I trust the Holy Spirit to reveal to me at the proper time exactly what He wants me to understand WHEN He wants me to understand it. My salvation is secure regardless of whether or not I choose to continue to eat pork, however, I sincerely want to be holy for God is holy.

As far as government authority is concerned, I am torn in how far my respect for my leaders is expected to go. I mean there are not very many political leaders worthy of respect these days. The decisions being made supposedly on our behalf go against my principles! Is it wrong for me to desire and even demand that the people I vote for stand up for what is right? Is it wrong for me to stand up for what is right? I honestly don't know how much is enough.

To add to those thoughts concerning government participation, are the concerns I have regarding the stability of our nation and even the globe. It appears that this supposed "New World Order" is closer than ever before. George Soros is a man who is promoting this agenda more and more. There are university professors and community organizers encouraging "revolution", even specifying "striking", "blocking streets", "closing down schools", etc. There are even radical ideas concerning "population reduction", which I believe goes beyond the abhorrent Planned Parenthood.

So why do these things concern me? The dilemma, in my mind, is how much involvement is enough? It seems to be that all of these things are happening because we are in the end times. So I wonder if I am just to sit back and watch it all happen, or am I supposed to step up and speak up? Anyone following me? Like I said, my thoughts go around and around so much on these issues that I get frustrated.

To those close to me, you know how passionate I am about being informed, being educated, being aware of what's going on. BUT IS THAT ENOUGH?!